US Veterans Are Being Healed Through ‘Meat Therapy BBQ’

A US Army Veteran is offering his fellow servicemen and women “healing in the form of barbecue.” James Wilson appeared on Fox and Friends Weekend on Saturday to discuss his Meat Therapy platform that he hopes will help other veterans a safe space to work through trauma and other issues after returning home from duty.

  1. Wilson has always loved being at the grill. Coming up with the Meat Therapy platform and his company, Meat Therapy BBQ, was a no-brainer for Wilson. “Barbeque has always been a big part of my life,” he explained. It became an even bigger part after he finished his service. “when I was transitioned out of the Army back in 2009, it was not an easy transition for me at all,” he said, adding that he “struggled with a lot of different things.”
  2. He found an outlet through food. Wilson said that “serving others” was always something that bolstered his mood and improved his mental and emotional well-being. By getting back to the grill and feeding his fellow military men and women, he found a sense of peace. “It helped me reconnect with others,” he said.
  3. The initiative started about three years ago. Wilson was excited to show off his love of preparing tasty food and wanted “to show others” that something as basic as BBQ could be therapeutic. He created accounts for Meat Therapy on Instagram and other social media platforms and it wasn’t long before the idea took off. “And here we are today,” he said.
  4. Wilson makes some pretty tasty food. He described some of the bratwursts he loves making, which are braised in onions and homemade seasoning as well as Shiner Bock Beer before being placed “low and slow on the smokers, at 225 degrees for about two hours.” He also makes dishes like smoked beef rib mac and cheese and even throws in delicious desserts like peach cobbler.
  5. Boot Campaign is one of Meat Therapy’s beneficiaries. The organization helps veterans with issues that come up once they’re home from military deployment. “Boot Campaign began when average Americans chose to outwardly express their gratitude for active duty service members, veterans, and their families by lacing up one of the most visible signs of military service: combat boots,” the website says. “Our decade-long efforts have only been made possible by patriots from coast to coast who heard our mission, believed in it and took the next step to help us spread it amongst their friends, families, and colleagues.”

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill